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Algarotti, Francesco, Count Algarotti in the Prussian nobility (1712–1764), poet and scholar, was born on 11 December 1712 in the family home in Venice on the Fondamenta Nuove, the second son of Rocco Algarotti (d. 1726) and his wife, Maria Mercati. His father was a prosperous merchant of Paduan origin, settled in ...

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Arnold, Matthew (1822–1888), poet, writer, and inspector of schools, was born at Laleham-on-Thames, Middlesex, on 24 December 1822, the eldest son and second of the nine surviving children of the Revd Thomas Arnold (1795–1842) and Mary Penrose Arnold (1791–1873). Thomas Arnold had been a fellow of ...

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Robert Speaight

revised by Annette Peach

Baring, Maurice (1874–1945), poet and author, was born at 37 Church Street, Mayfair, London, on 27 April 1874, the fifth son of Edward Charles Baring (1828–1897), who became first Baron Revelstoke, banker, and his wife, Louisa Emily Charlotte (d. 1892), daughter of ...

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Barnes, William (1801–1886), poet and philologist, was born on 22 February 1801, in a cob and thatch cottage, Rushay Farm, on Bagber Common, near Sturminster Newton, Dorset, the sixth of seven children of John Barnes (bap. 1762, d. 1846), and his wife, ...

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Beattie, James (1735–1803), poet and philosopher, was baptized at Laurencekirk, Kincardineshire, on 25 October 1735, the youngest of six children of James Beattie (d. c.1742), tenant farmer and village shopkeeper, and Jean Watson (c.1692–1772). His father, who died when ...

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Benson, Arthur Christopher (1862–1925), poet and college head, was born on 24 April 1862 at Wellington College, the son of Edward White Benson (1829–1896), first headmaster of the college and later archbishop of Canterbury, and his wife, Mary, née Sidgwick (1841–1918). He was the brother of ...

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Blunden, Edmund Charles (1896–1974), poet and university teacher, was born on 1 November 1896 at 54A Tottenham Court Road, London, the eldest of the nine children (five sons and four daughters) of Charles Edmund Blunden (1871–1951) and his wife, Georgina Margaret (1868–1967), daughter of ...

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Bronowski, Jacob (1908–1974), mathematician, poet, and humanist, was born on 18 January 1908 in Łódź, Poland, the first of the three children of Abram Bronowski, haberdasher, and his wife, Celia Flatto. During the First World War the family lived in Germany, and in 1920 they moved to ...

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Broome, William (bap. 1689, d. 1745), translator and poet, was born at Haslington, Cheshire, and baptized there on 3 May 1689, the son of Randle Broome, a farmer. He was first educated at Eton College, where he was captain of the school until he was eventually sent to ...

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Brown, Thomas (1778–1820), philosopher and poet, was born on 9 January 1778 at the manse of Kirkmabreck, Kirkcudbrightshire, the youngest of thirteen children of the Revd Samuel Brown (1724–1779), minister of Kirkmabreck and Kirkdale, and of Margaret Smith (1735–1817), daughter of John Smith...

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Buchanan, George (1506–1582), poet, historian, and administrator, was born about 1 February 1506 at a farm called The Moss in Killearn parish, Stirlingshire, the fifth of eight children of Thomas Buchanan (d. c.1512) and Agnes Heriot, traditionally said to be of the ...

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Byrom, John (1692–1763), poet and creator of a system of shorthand, was born on 29 February 1692 at Kersall Cell, Broughton, near Manchester, the second son of Edward Byrom (d. 1711), merchant, and his wife, Sarah Allen. The Byrom family were well known in the district: the ...

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Carew, Richard (1555–1620), antiquary and poet, was born on 17 July 1555 at Antony House, Torpoint, Cornwall, the eldest son among the three children of Thomas Carew (c.1527–1564) and his wife, Elizabeth Edgcumbe. His father having died when he was eight, ...

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Carter, Elizabeth (1717–1806), poet, translator, and writer, was born on 16 December 1717 at Deal in Kent, the first child and eldest daughter of the Revd Nicolas Carter (1688–1774), perpetual curate of Deal Chapel, and one of the six preachers at Canterbury Cathedral...

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Coleridge, Samuel Taylor (1772–1834), poet, critic, and philosopher, was born on 21 October 1772 at Ottery St Mary, Devon, and baptized there on 30 December, the youngest of ten children born to John Coleridge (bap. 1719, d. 1781), vicar of the town and master of the grammar school, and his second wife, ...

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Cory, William Johnson (1823–1892), poet and schoolmaster, was born William Johnson at Torrington, Devon, on 9 January 1823, the second son of Charles William Johnson, formerly an indigo planter in India, and his wife, Theresa, daughter of the Revd Peter Wellington Furse of ...

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Cotton, Charles (1630–1687), poet and translator, was born at the family seat, Beresford Hall in Staffordshire, on 28 April 1630, the only child of Charles (d. 1658) and Olive, née Stanhope (1614?–1652?). His parents' marriage had caused a scandal when his father eloped with the young heiress and the marriage continued stormy, if one may judge by ...

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Daniel, Samuel (1562/3–1619), poet and historian, was born either in north Somerset, somewhere between Bath and Frome, or further to the east on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire. The little that is known about his family and origins suggests a connection with the Daniels...

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Davies, John (1564/5–1618), poet and writing-master, was born at Hereford (his birthplace was always noted on his title-pages—'John Davies of Hereford'—apparently to distinguish him from the prominent contemporary poet Sir John Davies). He was probably born a Roman Catholic and was certainly identified as one in 1611 (...

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Dixon, Richard Watson (1833–1900), ecclesiastical historian and poet, was born on 5 May 1833 at Islington, London, the eldest of the six surviving children of James Dixon (1788–1871) and his third wife, Mary Watson (d. 1856), the only daughter of Richard Watson (1781–1833)...